Promising to Keep Kids Safe in their Internet Searching
Kiddle is a brand new search engine designed to keep children safe while they are browsing the internet. It was initially reported that it was an official Google spin off, that parents welcome. But it actually has no connection to Google. You can see why the error was made as the interface of Kiddle looks very similar to the all familiar Google search page. It does however have a few kidlike tweaks with a cute font, fun robot and space themed background.
Kiddle are heavily promoting the safety of browsing with their engine stating on their website that “since Kiddle results are either handpicked and checked by our editors or filtered by Google safe search, you know you get kid-oriented results without any explicit content. In case some bad words are present in a search query, our guard robot will block the search,”
There are 3 levels of filters for how the search results are produced. The first 1-3 sites produced are handpicked as safe sites written specifically for children. The second level of sites displayed are still handpicked by Kiddle’s editors and are not specifically written for children but have “content written in a simple way, easy for kids to understand”, usually results 4-7. The third level are filtered by Google safe search and are “safe famous sites written for adults, providing expert content, but are harder for kids to understand”, usually results 8 and onwards.
Published on their website, Kiddle state the reasons how their search engine is specifically designed for children with safe searching, child-oriented results, large thumbnails and large font. They are very explicit that all personal identifiable information is deleted within 24 hours for privacy.
It is very simple to test the function of the ‘bad robot’, such as the simple search conducted using the word ‘boobs’. Whew! No sneaky boob perving while Mum is busy cooking dinner any more!
They achieve these results by blocking certain words from generating any page options. There has been some controversy over some of the other terms blocked for searching such as Gay and Lesbian which has angered some. Terms like ‘sex education’ have also been blocked. Kiddle have sated this is not to prevent young adults accessing valuable information but “what is OK for a child of 12 may not be OK for a child of five”.
It’s not just your swear work terms, genitalia and related terms that have been blocked, some celebrities like Pamela Anderson yield no search results either. Justin Bieber has also had his internet profile sanitised through Kindle with no mention of rehab or bare butts, so young Beliebers are safe to swoon over his images and dream about attending upcoming concerts without fear.
While Kiddle has had it slips in the fledgling stages with certain things slipping the net, they are working hard to provide a safe environment in this digital age. They have a form in their site where you can submit suggested keywords for blocking.
With the need for children to use technology far earlier in life than any generation before them, it is reassuring that they have a safe forum to research school projects and homework. While we have trust in our children to use technology in a responsible manner, the mass of information available in the worldwide web is boggling, and the odd slip up can happen accidentally. It’s great to see that technology is evolving to try to prevent against this happening.
Have you or your children used the Kiddle search function? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook or Instagram pages with the hashtag #babyviewpics.
Gemma is a kiwi Mum of one and is the Editor for The Baby View. She also works with preschool children, loves cooking, loves sunshine, loves chocolate and loses countless hours at a time looking at cute baby pictures on Instagram!